|2000 - 2004
In early 2000 guitarist/songwriter Robin Staps moved to Berlin with the intention to materialize his vision of the band THE OCEAN. In late 2001 the band leased the basement of a former aluminum factory from World War II and converted it into "Oceanland", a complex that includes rehearsal, studio and sleeping rooms, where all of the band's albums have been recorded so far.
In July 2002 THE OCEAN played their first official show at the sold-out "Eimer" club in Berlin accompanied by 3 classical musicians (trombone, cello and German flute), to a frenetic response. In October 2003, after a self-released album, the band launched its first official CD "Fogdiver" through Make My Day Records / Zomba. The German press reacted euphorically; Visions Magazine predicted: "There's something huge growing here!" Metal Hammer wrote: "A grooving steamroller of sound, which in its finest moments unfolds soundscapes of cinematic splendor. This could be the future of rock music."
In December 2003, after several shows and short tours in Germany and abroad, THE OCEAN won a band contest for the Riotfest held in Antwerp, Belgium. In January 2004 the band returned to the studio to begin work on not one, but two new full-length albums. During 3 months of sessions a whole orchestra was recorded, complete with six violins, five cellos, clarinets and flutes. The first half of these sessions was released in August 2004 by Make My Day (Germany) and Thorne Records (rest of Europe), under the title "Fluxion". A singer, who had joined prior to the recording, made the album a far more direct and uneasy listening experience than the instrumental "Fogdiver". "'Fluxion' is something like the bastard son of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, NEUROSIS and DIMMU BORGIR conceived on a stormy night. One of the most brutal, complex and merciless mindfucks as of late." (www.wasteofmind.de).
"Fluxion" was also greeted with enthusiasm everywhere. OX wrote: "Without a doubt this is the German answer to NEUROSIS and ISIS, without copying either of them." EMP Magazine named "Fluxion" "the true soundtrack to the year 2004", while Metal Hammer simply called it "a great album". In April/May 2004 THE OCEAN played shows in Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Poland during a three-week tour.
During autumn 2004 the band played a series of concerts with NASUM and CULT OF LUNA, which were followed by a successful German headlining tour in November.
2005 / 2006
The next step was to complete work on the second half of "Fluxion", with the band freshly signed to Metal Blade Records. The new album "Aeolian" ended up a notch harder and more in-your-face; the classic instrumentation present on "Fluxion" was relegated to the background for the time being. But this didn't mean the band was heading in a completely different direction, but had more to do with the choice of material for the album. "Aeolian" was the band's experiment to find out how a reduction to the classic rock line-up of drums/bass/guitar/vocals would work in the context of THE OCEAN. The result is a dense, brutal album that goes straight to the point without any unnecessary ornamentation.
The group took almost three months for the extensive recording of vocals for the album. A host of guest singers appear on the record, among others Tomas Hallbom of BREACH, Nate Newton (CONVERGE / OLD MAN GLOOM) and Sean Ingram (COALESCE), who called his appearance on "Aeolian" his favorite collaboration so far. The album was mastered by Magnus Lindberg (CULT OF LUNA) at Tonteknik Studio in Umea, Sweden.
The reactions to the album - for the first time on a worldwide scale - were indeed amazing, getting highest scores from England to Italy. The disc was Album of the Month in the Swedish Close Up magazine, while Kerrang! Called it "complex, overwhelming and mercilessly tight", rewarding it with 4 Ks. Revolver (USA) gave 5 out of 5 points and stated: "THE OCEAN make the guitar / bass / drums axis seem monstrously huge, bringing a symphonic richness to the music without sacrificing its ear-bludgeoning quality". The entire press for "Aeolian" can be viewed online in the press section of www.theoceancollective.com.
In 2006 the band spent five months on the tour bus, promoting "Aeolian" everywhere from Sweden to Portugal. In the process THE OCEAN also appeared at various large summer festivals such as Summer Breeze (GER), Brutal Assault (CZ) and a single gig at the legendary St Feliu Festival in Spain. At the end of the year the band commenced work on "Precambrian", the successor to "Aeolian". THE OCEAN spent the first half of 2007 in the studio, before heading out on a four-week European tour with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER.